* Posts by Warm Braw

1761 posts • joined 6 Sep 2013

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: I tend to mistrust these attributions

how can you tell the difference?

Well, China has a major state programme in place to control and monitor its citizens' internet access, so there is a reasonable argument that exfiltration of data on such a scale and over such a long period could not have happened without at least tacit facilitation.

Other countries have major state programme in places merely to monitor citizens' internet access, so there is a reasonable argument that exfiltration of data on such a scale and over such a long period could not have happened without their choosing to look the other way.

There's a difference - but whether it's more than semantic, I'm really not sure...

Huawei CFO poutine cuffs by Canadian cops after allegedly busting sanctions on Iran

Warm Braw Silver badge

So who do the Americans want to swap her for?


Waymo's revolutionary driverless robo-taxi service launches in America... with drivers

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She was walking her bicycle across a highway at night

I wonder what fraction of the money spent on self-driving vehicles would be required to provide cycle paths in the cities in which it is intended they be deployed?

BT pension scheme will stay on RPI interest rates for now

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Re: Oh well.

ideally that's everybody

It's funded by a levy on other defined-benefit schemes, which are offered to almost nobody going forward. Just as well life-expectancy is going down...

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

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Re: Millenials?

In this case, they would seem to be neo-flashists.

STIBP, collaborate and listen: Linus floats Linux kernel that 'fixes' Intel CPUs' Spectre slowdown

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as soon as CPUs started having microcode

Microcode (or microprogramming as he called it) was invented by Maurice Wilkes in 1951 and pretty much every family of computers that implements the same instruction set on a range of different hardware has used it since in some form or another.

Fresh releases of TypeScript and Visual Studio 2017 for Mac round out November

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Re: Er, so this TypeScript is not a language

Whatever happened to RATFOR ?

It met its Waterloo.

Euro consumer groups: We think Android tracking is illegal

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The user has no freedom but to consent

Possibly worth pointing out that there is a little message at the bottom of this page that says:

We use cookies to improve performance, for analytics and for advertising. You can manage your preferences at any time by visiting our cookie policy.

If you vist the cookie policy page, you'll find 7 separate places where you are told you may opt out, 3 of them belong to Google and some of the others seem merely lead to lengthy expositions of privacy policy with hard-to-find allusions to opting-out. And those opt-outs almost inevitably will involve other cookies being stored. So, kettle, pot, etc.

The real problem is that there still isn't any real alternative to advertising to fund Internet services and it's not clear people would want to use one that involved actual money. Perhaps leaning on Google over privacy might encourage them to find a way.

Technical foul: Amazon suffers data snafu days before Black Friday, emails world+dog

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Re: Nothing to worry about

Santa Claus is in contravention of article 4 of the General Data Protection Regulation

That was originally the view of the German town of Roth too.

Needless to say, the lawyers are already on the case.

Brexit: UK will be disconnected from EU databases after 2020

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Re: Guys, guys, Project Fear Mark 75 can be wound up now!

The EU won't ask

Obviously we've been distracted by (to us) more immediate EU issues, but there's been a process going on in the EU to find a replacement for Jean-Claude Juncker. That process involves the EU parliament (which we elect and whose various party groupings have been picking their Spitzenkandidaten) and the Council of Ministers (representatives of national governments, which we also elect).

None of this has been much reported in the UK media, though the process has been widely covered in other EU countries. That's a considerably more democratic process than, for example, the appointment of the head of the British civil service.

I would concede that many people in the UK feel remote from the institutions that make decisions that affect them, but that's largely down to the lack of effective regional government in the UK: Transport for the North, for example, has no control over transport in the north and no ability to raise money to provide it; even in London, the Assembly has limited power beyond transport and some joint oversight of the police along with the Home Secretary. That's not the fault of Europe and the Brexit process (it if ever happens) will only concentrate power in Westminster even more.

If other EU countries wish to pursue "ever-closer union", they can. They can't make us join in and in fact only a minority of EU countries actually have aspirations in that direction. Ultimately, there'll have to be a "variable geometry" Europe to keep the project on the road and we have far better prospects if we remain the the EU and help to make that happen than by simply throwing our toys out of the pram.

Townsfolk left deeply unsatisfied by Bury St Edmunds' 'twig' of a Christmas tree

Warm Braw Silver badge

twee Christmas

I think you missed a twick...

Samsung 'reveals' what looks like a tablet that folds into a phone, but otherwise we're quite literally left in the dark

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Re: This

I'm old enough to remember when we looked at things with a squarish aspect ratio

Actually, so am I. And there are obviously still quite a few people still content without colour, but having a form factor that's different to most modern content (unless you count mobile phone clips shot vertically) is likely to go down less well with the modern teeny-boppers and the producers of moving picture promotions for popular beat combos, I would have thought.

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: This

If you unfold a rectangle, you're going to get something that looks squarish. Is that a useful aspect ratio, even if you divide the screen up into different specialied areas?

And if you divide the screen up into different areas, why not just have several screens?

Data flows post-Brexit: 'Leave it to government to make sure you've got a smooth run in.' Er, OK

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Businesses need to do "very little"

Sounds like Raab's approach to his own responsibilities... so not really advice on which to place to much reliance based on success to date.

'Pure technical contributions aren’t enough'.... Intel commits to code of conduct for open-source projects

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Re: what.

those who lack interpersonal skills

... are capable of learning them and deploying them when they're required. Noone is "contributing purely technically" - the world is not yet run by robots, noone has been assimilated, contributors have colleagues and the contribution is supposed in the end to result in some form of human benefit. The definition of "contribution" implies co-operation towards a larger goal. If you don't want to engage with other people, that's fine, but don't expect them to engage with you and accept your generous "contirbutions" or offer you any form of remuneration for them.

Google logins make JavaScript mandatory, Huawei China spy shock, Mac malware, Iran gets new Stuxnet, and more

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Re: So not, Google

we can better protect you

I have cookie persistence disabled which means I get regular warnings from Google that I'm logging in from an unknown device. And now this. They could do with some sort of "I'm not mad enough to store anything of value on a Google server" setting for those of us who don't really care about their "protection", but do find their throw-away services of temporary use from time to time. Sorry, I could do with it, it's clearly of no interest to Google to help me protect myself.

5.1 update sends Apple's Watch 4 bling spinning into an Infinite Loop of reboot cycles

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: There's a sucker born every minute?

Does your watch allow you to take phone calls

Does your toaster make cheese?

Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

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If Britain goes through with Brexit...

... perhaps the denizens of MMU will be hoist by their own petard?

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

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I’m sure there’s a Fn + key combination that will help clear that

See what happens when you press "Home"...

Concerns over cops' crap computer kit: UK MPs call for cash, capacity, command

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they come out of university with a degree in politics

Given the complete failure of MPs to understand even the political components of the Brexit negotiations, or indeed parliamentary procedure which means that the "meaningful vote" they were promised - fingers crossed behind their backs by the executive - is nothing of the sort, you do wonder whether education of any kind is simply wasted on them.

Microsoft to staff: We remain locked and loaded with US military – and will keep adding voice to AI ethics debate

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We can’t expect these new developments to be addressed wisely...

... under any circumstances.

Ironically, the way the US is most likely to be attacked on its home turf is through cyberwarfare. If Microsoft were really that keen on "defence", they have more power in their hands than they seemingly appreciate.

Tech world mulls threat as new round of US China trade tariffs looms

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Re: Tariffs should have always been in place.

similar environmental, human rights, and labour laws

I can't see that going down well in the only country to pull out of the Paris climate accord and where "employment at will" is a widespread practice.

Uncool: Google won't be setting up shop in disused Berlin electrical substation

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the money will go elsewhere

The same argument gets rolled out in the face of "we shouldn't sell arms to murderous regimes", "people should be paid a living wage", "the environment needs better protection", etc.

Berlin is doing very well, from a shaky start after reunification, and if they don't want it ruined by a Bay Area-style social apocalypse then they've clearly seen what happens when the money is elsewhere and learned a valuable lesson.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

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Re: QA Prestige

Probably worth adding that an increasing number of senior management types are getting anxious about the potential liability for data breaches and other damage resulting from a failure to immediately apply the latest updates to all of their systems, so IT departments are finding it increasingly difficult to argue they need to hold off until they've checked compatibility or back out changes that are found to have operational consequences. This really means the vendors need more QA, not less - though Microsoft is far from the only culprit in this respect.

Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

Warm Braw Silver badge

Morrisons are responsible for the actions of their employees

If you follow that logic to its conclusion it expalins MGM suing the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

In practice, I would hope responsibility would depend on the extent to which Morrisons were negligent in exercising reasonable controls to prevent such incidents happening. And in that respect, I'm far more concerned that KPMG felt entitled to an entire copy of the company's payroll, without any form of obfuscation, and that their request went apparently unchallenged.

'The inmates have taken over the asylum': DNS godfather blasts DNS over HTTPS adoption

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: The first thing that struck me

a decade or more to roll out

Not if the browser uses a different DNS service to other local applications - it could be in the next browser update you download. Of couse, this would potentially result in "split-horizon" problems (try to debug a connectivity issue when your local DNS resolver gives you one answer and the browser is getting another) and it simply trades your vulnerability to interception of your DNS requests in transit for vulnerability to slurpage at their destination.

AI clinician trained to save humans from sepsis – and, er, let's just say you should stick to your human doctor

Warm Braw Silver badge

where a computer can help is the diagnosis

Having had to take relatives with sepsis to hospital on several occasions, an important factor in getting a correct diagnosis is to ensure it's discussed early in the proceedings. A&E doctors are under a lot of pressure and are looking for diagnoses to eliminate rather than additional possibilities. Symptoms of sepsis are not always very clear and if they do suspect sepsis they're likely to have to admit someone, potentially denying a bed to someone else. Which is why there a posters all over emergency departments underlining the danger of sepsis to give patients the benefit of the doubt - it's very tempting to send home someone who does not at that precise moment appear to be seriously ill.

Even if a computer could come up with a reasonably accurate diagnosis (and sepsis is probably a poor candidate) it's still not in a position to make a bed available. And any algorithm is going to have to err on the side of caution: the more caution, the more beds required.

Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

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Meanwhile in London...

I imagine the Ecuador Consulate is hopefully leaving its front door not merely unlocked but also ajar in the hope the cat escapes before the free cleaners arrive...

Yale Security Fail: 'Unexpected load' caused systems to crash, whacked our Smart Living Home app

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Re: No monitoring fee

How long do you get service if there's no cost for it?

For the lifetime of the product. If you ensure the product dies when you take away the service, that need not be very long.

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

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Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

In this age of notification lights and custom vibration, I don't get why ringtones are STILL popular

Some of us need them to locate our phones - in the salad drawer of the fridge, or the garden shed, or the pocket of the coat we put on because yesterday was a bit chilly and then hung up in the spare room - more than we need them to be notified of incoming calls...

Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution'

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Re: We do know some things for sure...

Perhaps the most significant thing we know is that overstretched public services are largely overstretched because of the deterioration of other public services. Last night's Ambulance on BBC 1 was a case in point - emergency vehicles dealing largely with failures in social care for the elderly and the consequences of homelessness. A large part of police time is now spent dealing with mental health problems - and the proportion goes up as the number of police officers goes down.

None of this is going to be solved by technology and any suggestion that it might is just a case of "look over there".

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

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It is disgusting that Assange is held

Considering what can happen inside a Saudi consultate, I think you need to recalibrate your Tunbridgewellometer.

The march of Amazon Business has resellers quaking in their booties

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Re: @Version 1.0 This is new news?

I've peaked behind the curtain

I hope you cleaned up after yourself.

Cabinet Office: Forget about Verify – look at our 3,000 designers (and 56 meetups)

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Re: Doug Adams was right

Aren't you supposed too be able to fit the entire population of the Earth onto the Isle of Wight?

It would take around 20 million ferry journeys to get them there, or about 2500 years. By which time the IoW may well have reached the 20th century...

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: Doug Adams was right

the B Ark is much bigger than we ever imagined

Almost exactly the size of the United Kingdom...

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

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It's only a matter of time...

... before websites don't even need to know your name, they'll be able to infer your identity from all the other information that's been collected on you over time. Unless we poison the well while there's still time, which is what I hope is what's motivating at least some of the pseudonymous subversion.

Once the false identities are out there, it's amazing how persistent they are. I've been getting insurance quotes addressed to Mr. E. Shopper for years now. Years ago, we set up a fake employee, complete with a DDI and write-only answering service, to whom all unsolicited sales calls were routed. He still gets the occasional e-mail, though the phone calls did eventually dry up...

Payment-card-skimming Magecart strikes again: Zero out of five for infecting e-retail sites

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: Cross origin iframe's are restricted

They are. But there's nothing stopping script in the outer window replacing the IFRAME with an inline form mimicking the hosted payment form and submitting it to the payment processor after capturing the details, or changing the URL of the IFRAME to a proxy server somewhere that captures the submitted details, or a range of other things...

Warm Braw Silver badge

Because having all the analytics and "engagement" is more important to them than the security of the payment. And, of course, their web designers are bereft without their beloved frameworks.

Auditors generally give a free pass to shopping sites that have a fully-hosted payment page (i.e. it's on a third party site belonging to the payment processor), but they have also, I understand, sometimes extended the same licence to any page where the hosted payment page is included in an IFRAME within the retailers own site where, of course, misbehaving scripts would pretty much have free rein. So even the compliance controls seem to have been lax.

Google now minus Google Plus: Social mini-network faces axe in data leak bug drama

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He's just tolkien through his ring...

Watch Series 4: What price 'freedom'? About as much as you'd expect from an Apple product

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Thanks, Apple, I now embrace my fate

There comes a point in life when you realise you're on an inexorable downhill slope. The other day, that moment came when someone offered me their seat on the bus.

So I'm very grateful to Apple. A world where anyone would contemplate spending £700 on a digital watch in order to that they should never miss an urgent HTML-formatted promotional e-mail from Netflix is one for which I have grown too old and cynical. And poor. Time to switch my mortal coil to "shuffle" and depart in good grace

Intel boss admits chips in short supply, lobs cash into the quagmire

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A record $15bn in capex this year

You have to speculate in order to accumulate, though not speculate out of order to branch...

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

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Re: Tea with milk

Can anyone explain why, even if you take your own tea and milk, it still never seems to taste the same?

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: Hahaha...

what our USAnian friends have against people with a love of walking

The barrel of a gun?

To be fair, they're not against walking, per se, it's any deviation from their established norm that they seem to find inordinately suspicious.

MI5: Gosh, awkward. We looked down the sofa and, yeah, we *do* have intel on privacy bods

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No point in raking over the coals

I'd have thought that was indeed the point of the IPT, not sweeping establishment abuse under the carpet.

Fortunately, the IPT website is clear on the position of Burton with respect to the establishment:

Sir Michael Burton was a scholar at Eton College and then at Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Classics and then Law, obtaining his MA: he was a lecturer in law at Balliol from 1970 to 1973. He was called to the Bar in 1970, became a QC in 1984, and was appointed a High Court Judge in 1998. He had a busy commercial practice in the Queen’s Bench Division, Chancery Division, Commercial Court and Employment courts, in a wide variety of fields of Law. He sat for many years as a Recorder and Deputy High Court Judge and was Head of Littleton Chambers from 1991 to 1998.

I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: Try travelling with First Bus and their (cr)app

One of our local bus companies offers an inexplicably massive app for Android that seems less designed to sell tickets and more focussed on providing some kind of social media experience, which seems to be its excuse for requesting every possible permission available.

Meanwhile, the bus company doesn't offer any form of integrated ticketing (you can't get a through ticket even if there's a connecting bus run by the same operator) - despite the buses all having NFC and QR code readers. You can even get a card that looks a lot like a pre-pay Oyster card, but you can only use it to pay for point-to-point fares at their full cost, so if you have a debit card, it's entirely pointless.

Don't underestimate the power of business to harness technology to make your life more complicated for no obvious benefit to anyone.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Warm Braw Silver badge

There is no place for discrimination on Facebook

True; it's equally vile wherever you look.

For all Facebook's faults, however, this isn't a new phenomenon. Employers have always targeted advertisements - knowingly or unknowingly - by the choice of publication in which those advertisements were placed.

More interesting is that potential employers continue to believe they have any meaningful influence over the suitability of the candidates they eventually hire. Many selection techniques pick the "right" candidate less than 50% of the time*. The most commonly used (the unstructured interview) delivers a good candidate around 31% of the time. So the arguments about whether any form of discrimination is "justified" are pretty much futile. As long as you can get some evidence that people have approximately the right skill set, you might as well just pick them at random unless it's the kind of job for which it's worth putting people through a rigorous assessment centre process (where you can get the likelihood of a good hire up to 68%).

*Fundamentals of Human Resource Management: Managing People at Work

By Derek Torrington, Stephen Taylor

Trump pulls trigger in US-China tit-for-tat tariff tiff: 10% slapped on $200bn of imported kit

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: In trade

they pirate

Given today's date, perhaps someone can advise me on which of the following is correct?

1/ At least wooden legs still be tariff-free!


2/ At least wooden legs arrrrrrrrrrrrrre still tariff-free!

Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers

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Re: UK IT shortage

I think the plan is to replace the people who work in IT-related posts with IT.

Like most political initiatives, Brexit is hoping to solve yesterday's problem. Globalisation has moved on from moving people and goods around, it's now all about eliminating people and goods from the picture to the fullest extent possible - apart from those necessary to keep the people with the money in their opulent, disease-free, New Zealand bunkers.

Microsoft pulls plug on IPv6-only Wi-Fi network over borked VPN fears

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Re: @ITS Retired - Welcome to the real world, MS

it's as backwards compatible with v4 as it is possible to be

One of the interesting (if now entirely academic) lessons of the DECnet Phase V debacle is that technical backwards compatibility per se turned out not to be a major driver of take-up. Phase V implementations supported both Phase IV and Phase V, allowed local subnetworks and the interconnecting backbone to be in different phases and provided triggers that could automatically flip parts of the network over as migration proceeded. It ought to have been a trivial exercise.

However, by the time it was deployed, Phase IV addresses had already run out in the networks at which Phase V was targeted and proxy servers (a kind of alternative to NAT) were in widespread use. Unpicking those turned out to be more complicated than transitioning the core network and it turned out that migrating to IP wasn't a great deal harder.

The saving grace for IPv6 is that there isn't any obvious alternative, apart from more NAT, so perhaps we might get there eventually.

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: Catch 22

running out of IPv4 addresses

... has been a compelling emergency for over 20 years now. "Oh, wait" seems to be the problem...

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